NOTE: if you are upgrading to version 9.0x, check out the notes here.

As some have found, upgrading from one version of DX4WIN to another can seem like a daunting task. Normally, you install each new version of DX4WIN in its own directory. The upgrade process does not automatically copy your personalized preferences, log file, and other data.

Here is the text from the DX4WIN help file:

"We recommend that you install a new version of DX4WIN in the suggested directory. This avoids problems when file formats have changed etc. For example, new versions may change the format of the log files. A new version will always be able to read the old format, but old versions cannot read the new format of a log file!

"After installing the program in the suggested directory, follow these steps:

"The file format of the log changes often as new versions are released. You can always read older versions of the log, but the log will be saved in the current format. Older versions of DX4WIN are not able to read the new format. If you want to go back to an older format, export the log using the appropriate DX4WIN filter and import that file in your old version."

Here are my personal notes on upgrading. I will state one very important thing up-front:

After merging your .INI file settings and copying your log file, the FIRST TIME you start the new version of DX4WIN, make sure that it opened the log file from the NEW SAVE directory and not the OLD one! Until you are sure, do NOT save your log. I can't stress this point enough! In fact, if the new version of DX4WIN automatically opens a log file, go to File | Open, locate the file you copied into the NEW SAVE directory, and open it. When there is a new major release of DX4WIN, the log format can change, and this change is not backwards-compatible with older versions. If you were to open the log file from the old SAVE directory with the new version, DX4WIN would convert it to the new format, and when you save it, you would no longer be able to open your old log file with your old version of DX4WIN! Once the new version has learned the location of the new log file, however, this will be a moot point.

  1. If you are using firewall software, you may need to configure it to accept Telnet connections from the new version of DX4WIN. This is a different executable than the previous version.
  2. If you are upgrading within a major version (i.e. 7.03 to 7.04, or 8.01 to 8.03), copy your license (key) file. The key file is found in the DX4WIN (not SAVE) directory, and should be based on your callsign, i.e. dx4w703\KK4HD.key or dx4w802\ON4AOI_lic.dx4w8. Copy the file to your new directory, i.e. dx4w704\KK4HD.key or dx4w803\ON4AOI_lic.dx4w8. Make sure DX4WIN is not running when you do this!

    If you are upgrading to a new major version (i.e. 6.0x to 7.0x, or 7.0x to 8.0x), you will have to pay to upgrade. DX4WIN will only run in DEMO mode until you do (can't save log, can't export, can't print).

  3. Merge your preferences. See the bullet above starting with, "Create an INI file in the old version...". Some things that don't migrate include:
    • Spot color preferences
    • ICOM baud rate
    • Summary windows open

    In addition, if bands/modes are changed/added, they may become enabled by default. So check the bands/modes in your Station preferences to see that they still make sense for your station.

  4. Copy (don't move) the these files from old DX4W### directory to new DX4W### directory:
    • DX4WIN.MAS1 (master callsign database)
    • DX4WIN.MAS2 (member list - only 8.0x and later)
  5. Copy (don't move) these files file from old SAVE directory to new SAVE directory:
    • <CALL>.DXL (your log)
    • FULLLIST.XML (IOTA islands list)
  6. Other files to copy (not move) from old SAVE directory to new SAVE directory (if you have custom versions):
    • DX4WIN.AWD file (custom awards)
    • DX4WIN.PRO file (CW prosigns)
    • DX4WIN.PUT file (packet spots)
    • DX4WIN.TCP file (telnet addresses for DX clusters)
    • PORTMAP.INI file (serial port control)
  7. If you have created or customized any reports, copy/merge the .REP file from the old SAVE directory into the new SAVE directory. Do NOT copy the .REP file from an old version to a new (major) version, i.e. going from 7 to 8, as the format of the file often changes.
  8. If you have a custom radio (.RIG) file, copy it from the old RADIOS directory the new one.
  9. If you had any QSO "Contest Mode" settings (i.e. Text to add to QSO Note), these will not be merged, and must be re-entered by hand.
  10. Copy or merge the country file. The new version of DX4WIN may install a newer country file than the one you are using, but it may not be the latest. It's usually best not to merge unless you really have to. It's better to send AD1C your country file so he can merge your special exceptions into the master copy.
  11. Update the Award and DX Cluster databases. The new version of DX4WIN may install newer databases than the ones that you are using, but they may not be the latest. You can use the DX4WIN Data Updater to help you.
  12. If you are filtering packet spots by country, make sure the country prefix(es) in the packet preferences match(es) the prefix(es) in the country file. For example, some older country files used "W" as the prefix for United States, but the current country file uses "K".
  13. If you use the F3 window to look up addresses, right-click in that window and select "Automatic Update" if you used that setting in the previous version.

Additional notes for upgrading to DX4WIN 8.0x from an earlier major version

DX4WIN 8.0x is a major update from earlier versions. You can see a list of the changes here.

In addition to following the steps above, you should review the following items to see if they affect you:

The following four items are ONE-TIME actions that will help populate the new fields in your logbook:

  1. QSO | Multiple QSO Operations | Set Name and QTH

    This will populate the Name and QTH fields in your logbook from the "Notes for this call" field. The name and QTH is moved out of the "Notes for this call" field and into the two new fields. Please read the on-line help for this function to see exactly what DX4WIN will do.

    Note that when adding QSOs with a station you have already worked, the Name and QTH fields in the new QSO will be populated from the previous QSO. Like the "Notes for this call" field, changing the Name or QTH in the new QSO will affect all QSOs made with the same callsign, even those in the past.
  2. QSO | Multiple QSO Operations | Set Frequency

    This will populate the Freq field in your logbook from the "Notes for this QSO" field. The frequency is moved out of the "Notes for this QSO" field and into the logbook Freq field. Please read the on-line help for this function to see exactly what DX4WIN will do.

    Note that if the QSO notes field shows a QSX frequency, i.e.:
    then the QSX frequency will be lost. I wrote a utility to fix this. DX4WIN 8 does have the ability to automatically record the QSX frequency in the "Notes for this QSO" field using the "contest mode" settings in the QSO window.
  3. QSO | Multiple QSO Operations | Set Satellite Name/Mode

    This will populate the Name and Mode fields for Satellite QSOs in your logbook. This will only affect QSOs where the Band field is "Sat", and F8 filtering can help you here. For example, I can use an F8 filter to select only the "Mode B" QSOs (70cm/2m) in my log and set the Satellite Name for all those QSOs to "AO-7".

    This is necessary if you want to export Satellite QSOs for ARRL's Logbook of the World (LoTW).
  4. Set IOTA Island field for all IOTA QSOs.

    You don't really need to do this until you submit credits for the IOTA award. Once you have the submission list and have located all your QSLs, you can update the IOTA Island field for those QSOs from the QSLs in hand. When you generate the IOTA submission again, it will pick the previously-submitted QSOs, and the Island names will be filled into the form. You must have fulllist.xml in your SAVE directory to get the island names. (see #6 below).

You should take care of these actions as well:

  1. Customize File | Preferences | Packet3 for the bands and modes you operate. Note that if a band or mode is disabled in the preferences, spots for that band or mode will still be displayed in the DX Spots window, but they will be grayed-out.
  2. If you track the IOTA award, download the list of IOTA Islands from the RSGB IOTA web site and save it to your SAVE folder. This file is not distributed with DX4WIN for legal reasons. See the program help (Windows and menus > Main Window > Main Window: File > Main Window: File | Databases) for more information.
  3. Create a Member List file. You can create this list yourself, or download one from the web. See the on-line help or this application note for more information.